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WSG comments on that Congressman Weiner Twitter thing you’ve heard so much about.

There’s no such thing as privacy on social networks and web applications; there are only degrees of sharing. You can intend to share with only one person or intend to share with millions. He wrote “@username ” instead of “D @username ” and the rest is history. But what’s the difference between these two extremes of sharing? In the case of NY Congressman Andrew Weiner, it appears the difference was as slight as a keystroke, but is that really the case?

Weiner’s mistake was sending a public message when he wanted to sent a private message, but how much protection would that really have provided? What if he had succeeded in sending his lewd photo as a private missive and the recipient had turned around and posted it to Twitter, Facebook, Digg, their blog, anywhere? The point here is that once you’ve sent it, private or public, you have surrendered control of the content. And if you’ve sent it from an account which is unquestionably yours, you can’t claim it wasn’t you. You can claim someone hacked your account, but that’s not a smart move unless you can prove it. Weiner tried to say he was hacked. Tried, and failed.

So, to summarize the take away:

1. Most private case: Send a piece of content to a friend or trusted recipient and only your friend reads it.
2. Least private case: Sent a piece of content to everyone who’s looking, whether you’re aware they’re looking or not.

In case 1, when anyone can pretend to be someone they’re not, your internet trolling might end with you sending sensitive information to the wroooooong person. Then case 1 turns into case 2, and your boat is sunk.

There is no such thing as privacy on social networks. Just degrees of sharing. Be. Careful.

WSG comments for WNYT TV 13 on the Epsilon customer data breach

WNYT’s Beth Wurrtman was kind enough to ask us for our opinion on the impact of the Epsilon customer data breach. I met her at Professor Java’s on Wolf Road in Albany since she wanted to catch a few other folks for man-on-the-street commentary. We’re always very appreciative to be thought of. Beth’s a joy. Here’s the video:

 

WSG comments for WNYT TV 13 on the Kegs and Eggs scandal

WNYT 13: Computer virus invades Rensselaer County offices

Hey – I got on the News!

Sandy Family from the Sanford Financial Group –  who we know from our association with Talk 1300 – invited me to speak at a seminar about how to protect one’s self against identity theft.  The turnout was great – about 80 people came to the Holiday Inn on Wolf Road in Albany.  My last post on ID theft was written as a reference for the event.

My luck was pretty good that night.  In addition to being fortunate to be included on a panel with the Chief of Colonie Police, a high-profile attorney and a staffer from the State Attorney General’s Office – I got on the local news too.

Beth Wurtman from local NBC affiliatt WNYT asked me to taped some remarks in the hallway during the tail end of the event. I took some ribbing at the office too.  As the TV spot identified me as a “computer expert” – our design staff felt compelled to make stickers (see pic).  Everyone at the WSG offices was wearing one of these stickers when I came in the next day.

Here’s the video: